Tag: Evaluation


Let’s Talk About Learning Before We Talk About Measurement

12

Sep 2018

Let’s Talk About Learning Before We Talk About Measurement

By Andrew Taylor and Ben Liadsky  Andrew and Ben are working with the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund on a project to explore what it means for nonprofits and funders to have strong learning cultures and how, together, nonprofits and funders can have a relationship more focused around shared learning.  Imagine a grantmaker that has very clear investment priorities. Perhaps, for example, their focus is on helping...

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28

May 2018

Learning about Learning Organizations

By Andrew Taylor and Ben Liadsky  Andrew and Ben are working with the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund on a project to explore what it means for nonprofits and funders to have strong learning cultures and how, together, nonprofits and funders can have a relationship more focused around shared learning.    What is meant by a strong learning culture We often think about the word learning in...

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Evaluating Public Benefit

15

Dec 2017

Evaluating Public Benefit

Evaluating Public Benefit: How Changing Evaluation Practice Might Help to Solve an Identity Problem As an evaluator working in the nonprofit sector, I’m often struck by the things our society sees as inherently, obviously worthwhile, and the things it feels it needs to evaluate. For example, everyone seems to take it as given that public parks are not simply worthwhile, but are in fact a...

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Creating a Learning Culture: Lessons from the ONN Conference

27

Nov 2017

Creating a Learning Culture: Lessons from the ONN Conference

Thanks to Peel Leadership Centre for permission to reprint this blog post. In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the others find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer, social philosopher and author Last week, we attended Nonprofit Driven, an annual event for nonprofits and charities that is hosted by the Ontario Nonprofit Network. The event is attended...

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More useful evaluation for nonprofits? Yes, we can!

29

Jun 2017

More useful evaluation for nonprofits? Yes, we can!

In 2015, ONN took on a project to look at the systemic issues of evaluation in Ontario’s nonprofit sector and design potential solutions to help us get to more useful evaluation. This framing led to the development of our Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy work, which to date now includes a resource treasure chest designed to help identify pain points experienced by nonprofits, and move forward...

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Highlights from GO Open Data Conference 2017

17

May 2017

Highlights from GO Open Data Conference 2017

Over 150 people gathered in London, Ontario for the Go Open Data 2017 conference May 5 & 6. This was a cross-section of folks from government, the private sector, academia, and the nonprofit sector who all share a common interest in open data. Together, we shared a full day of learning and discussion about the potential and challenges that open data presents. Here are a few of...

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Can a pizza party be evaluation, too? Updating mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

07

Feb 2017

Can a pizza party be evaluation, too? Updating mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

Last year, we put out a resource to help clarify the different ways in which the term evaluation gets used (or misused) in Ontario’s nonprofit sector. Since then, we have heard some great ways nonprofits are promoting critical reflection and learning that didn’t quite fit into our original analysis. So, here’s a resource refresh to reflect what we’ve learned and heard from the sector since....

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Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

06

Feb 2017

Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

Evaluation… Impact Assessment… Reporting… Simple in concept, but capable of causing severe challenges for your organization if not properly managed. So, why are many nonprofits missing this important piece? In the private sector, where my experience lies, measurement and evaluation is relatively straightforward: Return on investment. Profitability. Efficiency and effectiveness. In the nonprofit world as I’m learning, however, measurement and evaluation is much more complicated....

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The perils of recipe thinking in the not-for-profit sector

30

Jan 2017

The perils of recipe thinking in the not-for-profit sector

If you stuck me in a kitchen without a recipe book, I wouldn’t know where to start. When you are inexperienced or lack confidence, a recipe is an amazing thing. It breaks up a complex task into simple steps.  It minimizes the risk of making a mistake. It allows you to achieve things you couldn’t otherwise do. Skilled chefs use recipes, of course, but they...

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Evaluation: Expanding design learning

30

Jan 2017

Evaluation: Expanding design learning

Late last fall, ONN’s evaluation project took me to the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to present alongside Andrew Taylor, ONN’s Resident Evaluation Expert. For me, it was an important professional development opportunity (one of the seven elements of decent work) and, thinking back, it was a bit of a surreal experience. Never did I think I would be in Atlanta at...

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